Le Contesse is a nice B&B with a cozy, homey feeling. You can really picture yourself staying as an Italian family's house guest. The owner is also very friendly and helpful, and it is all very clean.
The B&B is also very well-located, right next to the pedestrian area which comprises the historic centre. Most of the main locations are a short walk away, yet the area around the B&B is not very touristy, more of an area where locals go out to eat or have a drink. For example, a pizzeria very popular among locals is just a stone's throw away.
However, the downsides are fairly severe, in my opinion.
First of all, it is very, very noisy. Our room had windows to a small alley, and you could hear the noise from the adjacent road amplified. While it was fairly ok from 2am to 5am, the rest of the time it was impossible to leave the window open, and at around 6am delivery and rubbish collection were sure to wake us up both nights. It also didn't help that the curtains were insufficient - very thin material that hardly helped to keep any light out.
Secondly, one of the two windows should not be opened (it wouldn't close properly and took the combined efforts of both me and my partner to close it), and the bathroom was really tiny, making it hard to move without bumping into the sink, tiny shower cabin or the toilet.
And finally, the breakfast. While we wouldn't expect much breakfast-wise in Italy to start with and the "selection" was actually fairly wide for an Italian pension (bread, croissants, two types of cereal, butter, two types of jam, yoghurt, juice, milk and coffee), I found it very sad that the offered products were the cheapest of the cheap (particularly the juiceboxes...)
While Italy does not boast much of a breakfast culture, it would have been nice if at least some fresh fruit would have been offered or other kinds of Italian delicacies. The place is called "Bed and Breakfast" after all. A slightly more attention to the breakfast part could be nice. The coffee was good, though.
In short: A fairly good place for visiting Florence on a budget as many affordable places are located much further away from the historic centre. However, some improvements should be made, especially considering the quality of sleep and the breakfast.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Bed & Breakfast Le Contesse is situated in the heart of the historic center, between the areas of Sant'Ambrogio and Santa Croce. Most major attractions-the Santa Croce church, the Duomo, Piazza della Signoria, the Uffizi gallery, Ponte Vecchio, La Academia-are only a short walk away. All of our rooms are cleaned daily and equipped with a private bathroom, TV, wireless internet, air-conditioning and bathroom amenities. A complimentary Italian breakfast is available daily in our common eating area. ... more less
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